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Customer Review

on 26 April 2009
Unlike the other books that contribute to the Moomin series proper, "Tales from Moomin Valley" is a collection of nine short stories, perhaps equal in length to a chapter in the other texts. This book, along with "Moominland Midwinter" mark the turning point in the series when Tove Jansson shifts to deeper introspection, often termed her move towards adult writing, but the book presents a series of neat cameos, fairly readily interpretable for children, drawing on principle and not so familiar characters from the established Moomin series. This comparative absence of the Moomin family leads to a greater emphasis on the ideas presented withing the book. As can be expected on the basis of the other Moomin books, emotional ties to person and place, and by contrast isolation and loneliness (and the implication of these extremes for the individual) are central themes to the book.

The book is like a series of passing acquaintances, in that each story has its meaning, and many parallels can be found between their themes, but each remains a separate passing encounter. The potential for the depth of the book's themes to leave the reader unsettled is somehow not realised, in that each story reaches a resolution, in which a fragile but workable peace with a changed set of circumstances is established, and differences of opinion are let be in favour of appreciating the ability of particularly individual individuals to nevertheless still manage to accommodate enough to maintain ties to each other.
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